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We hate to break it to you, but you’re probably shopping for natural stone all wrong.

It’s something Colin Durling of CDK Stone sees all the time: “People come into our warehouse to select stone when their build or renovation is nearly finished. Then, they find a stone benchtop or other product they fall in love with. However, the piece just won’t fit with what they’ve already created at home.”

Sound like a tragedy? That’s because for natural stone lovers, it is. Fortunately, there’s a better way. We asked Colin to tell us more.

The stone shopping error you’re most likely making

When you’re building or renovating, it’s always easier to make large adjustments at the start. When you’re custom-building a new home, for example, you’ll want to decide on the number of bedrooms during the planning stage - not when the roof is about to go on.

The same is true with impact products, like a natural stone benchtop or feature wall.

“You should always select these products first. Natural stone should be a focal point of the room, not an afterthought, which is why it can be so frustrating when it’s left until the end.”

We hate to break it to you, but you’re probably shopping for natural stone all wrong.

It’s something Colin Durling of CDK Stone sees all the time: “People come into our warehouse to select stone when their build or renovation is nearly finished. Then, they find a stone benchtop or other product they fall in love with. However, the piece just won’t fit with what they’ve already created at home.”

Sound like a tragedy? That’s because for natural stone lovers, it is. Fortunately, there’s a better way. We asked Colin to tell us more.

The stone shopping error you’re most likely making

When you’re building or renovating, it’s always easier to make large adjustments at the start. When you’re custom-building a new home, for example, you’ll want to decide on the number of bedrooms during the planning stage - not when the roof is about to go on.

The same is true with impact products, like a natural stone benchtop or feature wall.

“You should always select these products first. Natural stone should be a focal point of the room, not an afterthought, which is why it can be so frustrating when it’s left until the end.”

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Natural stone is well, natural, which means the colours that occur in the stone are selected by nature and can be limited, unlike a man-made palette. When buyers look for stone with a specific colour palette in mind, they often reduce their options or even risk never being able to find the right product.

“Trying to find a natural stone that matches your Resene colour palette? It’s going to be nearly impossible. But reverse the process - buy your stone first and then select your cabinets, choose your carpet and paint your walls in complementary shades - and you’re going to find the interior design journey a whole lot more enjoyable.”

Natural stone is well, natural, which means the colours that occur in the stone are selected by nature and can be limited, unlike a man-made palette. When buyers look for stone with a specific colour palette in mind, they often reduce their options or even risk never being able to find the right product.

“Trying to find a natural stone that matches your Resene colour palette? It’s going to be nearly impossible. But reverse the process - buy your stone first and then select your cabinets, choose your carpet and paint your walls in complementary shades - and you’re going to find the interior design journey a whole lot more enjoyable.”

Putting natural stone at the forefront of product selection

For Colin, the solution is simple: “If you’re passionate about natural stone and you know you want it in your design, save yourself some hassle, come to the warehouse and see what’s out there first.”

According to Colin, choosing off of a small sample or seeing a photo just doesn’t cut it.

“When you go to the warehouse, you get to see large slabs of stone and the range of colours and textures within the product. In a kitchen shop, you usually only have access to a 100mm x 100mm sample. You might think ‘wow, this looks lovely,’ but when it’s closer to templating, the full slab very different to the original sample.

Putting natural stone at the forefront of product selection

For Colin, the solution is simple: “If you’re passionate about natural stone and you know you want it in your design, save yourself some hassle, come to the warehouse and see what’s out there first.”

According to Colin, choosing off of a small sample or seeing a photo just doesn’t cut it.

“When you go to the warehouse, you get to see large slabs of stone and the range of colours and textures within the product. In a kitchen shop, you usually only have access to a 100mm x 100mm sample. You might think ‘wow, this looks lovely,’ but when it’s closer to templating, the full slab very different to the original sample.

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“A photograph will also never do stone justice. Because of the mirror polish, photographs are never the same as stone looks in real life.”

Seeing large samples in the flesh may also introduce you to options you hadn’t considered before, including highly textured products and stone with finishes other than the standard, polished products you typically encounter.

Colin’s final advice to serious stone shoppers? Appreciate the process and keep an open mind.

“Stone is a natural product, it comes from a mountain. Every single piece is going to be unique and have its own imperfections, so be flexible and search for a look rather than a specific colour, finish or thickness. If you come in and say you need an island that’s exactly 3.2 m long, you’ll really limit yourself.

If you want something that’s perfectly uniform, you may be better off going to Neolith. And that’s fine - but don’t wait so long to make that decision that it’s your only option.”

Ready to take Colin’s advice and see for yourself? Visit their Auckland showroom today and be sure to check out CDK Stone on ArchiPro.

“A photograph will also never do stone justice. Because of the mirror polish, photographs are never the same as stone looks in real life.”

Seeing large samples in the flesh may also introduce you to options you hadn’t considered before, including highly textured products and stone with finishes other than the standard, polished products you typically encounter.

Colin’s final advice to serious stone shoppers? Appreciate the process and keep an open mind.

“Stone is a natural product, it comes from a mountain. Every single piece is going to be unique and have its own imperfections, so be flexible and search for a look rather than a specific colour, finish or thickness. If you come in and say you need an island that’s exactly 3.2 m long, you’ll really limit yourself.

If you want something that’s perfectly uniform, you may be better off going to Neolith. And that’s fine - but don’t wait so long to make that decision that it’s your only option.”

Ready to take Colin’s advice and see for yourself? Visit their Auckland showroom today and be sure to check out CDK Stone on ArchiPro.

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